Narrowband HST images of M87: Evidence for a disk of ionized gas around a massive black hole

Holland C. Ford, Richard J. Harms, Zlatan Tsvetanov, George F. Hartig, Linda L. Dressel, Gerard A. Kriss, Ralph C. Bohlin, Arthur F. Davidsen, Bruce Margon, Ajay K. Kochhar

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Abstract

We present HST WFPC2 narrowband Hα + [N II] images of M87 which show a small disk of ionized gas with apparent spiral structure surrounding the nucleus of M87. The jet projects ∼ 19°.5 from the minor axis of the disk, which suggests that the jet is approximately normal to the disk. In a companion Letter, Harms et al. measure radial velocities at r = ± 0″.25 along a line perpendicular to the jet, showing that one side of the disk is approaching at 500 ± 50 km s-1 and the other side of the disk is receding at 500 ± 50 km s-1. Absorption associated with the disk and the sense of rotation imply that the apparent spiral arms trail the rotation. The observed radial velocities corrected for a 42° inclination of the disk imply rotation at ± 750 km s-1. Analysis of velocity measurements at four positions near the nucleus gives a total mass of ∼2.4 ± 0.7 × 109 M within 18 pc of the nucleus, and a mass-to-light ratio (M/L)I = 170. We conclude that there is a disk of ionized gas feeding a massive black hole in the center of M87.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume435
Issue number1 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

ionized gases
narrowband
gas
radial velocity
nuclei
mass to light ratios
velocity measurement
inclination

Keywords

  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxies: individual (M87, NGC 4486)
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Galaxies: nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

Cite this

Ford, H. C., Harms, R. J., Tsvetanov, Z., Hartig, G. F., Dressel, L. L., Kriss, G. A., ... Kochhar, A. K. (1994). Narrowband HST images of M87: Evidence for a disk of ionized gas around a massive black hole. Astrophysical Journal, 435(1 PART 2).

Narrowband HST images of M87 : Evidence for a disk of ionized gas around a massive black hole. / Ford, Holland C.; Harms, Richard J.; Tsvetanov, Zlatan; Hartig, George F.; Dressel, Linda L.; Kriss, Gerard A.; Bohlin, Ralph C.; Davidsen, Arthur F.; Margon, Bruce; Kochhar, Ajay K.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 435, No. 1 PART 2, 01.11.1994.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ford, HC, Harms, RJ, Tsvetanov, Z, Hartig, GF, Dressel, LL, Kriss, GA, Bohlin, RC, Davidsen, AF, Margon, B & Kochhar, AK 1994, 'Narrowband HST images of M87: Evidence for a disk of ionized gas around a massive black hole', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 435, no. 1 PART 2.
Ford HC, Harms RJ, Tsvetanov Z, Hartig GF, Dressel LL, Kriss GA et al. Narrowband HST images of M87: Evidence for a disk of ionized gas around a massive black hole. Astrophysical Journal. 1994 Nov 1;435(1 PART 2).
Ford, Holland C. ; Harms, Richard J. ; Tsvetanov, Zlatan ; Hartig, George F. ; Dressel, Linda L. ; Kriss, Gerard A. ; Bohlin, Ralph C. ; Davidsen, Arthur F. ; Margon, Bruce ; Kochhar, Ajay K. / Narrowband HST images of M87 : Evidence for a disk of ionized gas around a massive black hole. In: Astrophysical Journal. 1994 ; Vol. 435, No. 1 PART 2.
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abstract = "We present HST WFPC2 narrowband Hα + [N II] images of M87 which show a small disk of ionized gas with apparent spiral structure surrounding the nucleus of M87. The jet projects ∼ 19°.5 from the minor axis of the disk, which suggests that the jet is approximately normal to the disk. In a companion Letter, Harms et al. measure radial velocities at r = ± 0″.25 along a line perpendicular to the jet, showing that one side of the disk is approaching at 500 ± 50 km s-1 and the other side of the disk is receding at 500 ± 50 km s-1. Absorption associated with the disk and the sense of rotation imply that the apparent spiral arms trail the rotation. The observed radial velocities corrected for a 42° inclination of the disk imply rotation at ± 750 km s-1. Analysis of velocity measurements at four positions near the nucleus gives a total mass of ∼2.4 ± 0.7 × 109 M⊙ within 18 pc of the nucleus, and a mass-to-light ratio (M/L)I = 170. We conclude that there is a disk of ionized gas feeding a massive black hole in the center of M87.",
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AU - Hartig, George F.

AU - Dressel, Linda L.

AU - Kriss, Gerard A.

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N2 - We present HST WFPC2 narrowband Hα + [N II] images of M87 which show a small disk of ionized gas with apparent spiral structure surrounding the nucleus of M87. The jet projects ∼ 19°.5 from the minor axis of the disk, which suggests that the jet is approximately normal to the disk. In a companion Letter, Harms et al. measure radial velocities at r = ± 0″.25 along a line perpendicular to the jet, showing that one side of the disk is approaching at 500 ± 50 km s-1 and the other side of the disk is receding at 500 ± 50 km s-1. Absorption associated with the disk and the sense of rotation imply that the apparent spiral arms trail the rotation. The observed radial velocities corrected for a 42° inclination of the disk imply rotation at ± 750 km s-1. Analysis of velocity measurements at four positions near the nucleus gives a total mass of ∼2.4 ± 0.7 × 109 M⊙ within 18 pc of the nucleus, and a mass-to-light ratio (M/L)I = 170. We conclude that there is a disk of ionized gas feeding a massive black hole in the center of M87.

AB - We present HST WFPC2 narrowband Hα + [N II] images of M87 which show a small disk of ionized gas with apparent spiral structure surrounding the nucleus of M87. The jet projects ∼ 19°.5 from the minor axis of the disk, which suggests that the jet is approximately normal to the disk. In a companion Letter, Harms et al. measure radial velocities at r = ± 0″.25 along a line perpendicular to the jet, showing that one side of the disk is approaching at 500 ± 50 km s-1 and the other side of the disk is receding at 500 ± 50 km s-1. Absorption associated with the disk and the sense of rotation imply that the apparent spiral arms trail the rotation. The observed radial velocities corrected for a 42° inclination of the disk imply rotation at ± 750 km s-1. Analysis of velocity measurements at four positions near the nucleus gives a total mass of ∼2.4 ± 0.7 × 109 M⊙ within 18 pc of the nucleus, and a mass-to-light ratio (M/L)I = 170. We conclude that there is a disk of ionized gas feeding a massive black hole in the center of M87.

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